Update: Diet and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Dogs
There has been a lot of buzz about the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) statements alerting pet owners about a possible link between dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a type of heart disease, in dogs eating diets containing peas, lentils, potatoes and other legume seeds as main ingredients. These ingredients are commonly found in diets that are advertised as “grain-free”. The initial statement from the FDA suggested a potential relationship between the amino acid taurine and DCM in dogs.
Since the first FDA report was released, there has been a growing body of evidence to suggest that a definitive link between DCM and specific diets or ingredients cannot be made. Most recently, in June 2020, a highly qualified team of board-certified veterinary nutritionists, cardiologists and PhD researchers published a literature review on DCM in dogs in the Journal of Animal Science. This review, which examined more than 200 studies, concluded that there is no definitive evidence to suggest a relationship between grain-free diets and DCM. The authors further explained that the information that has been distributed to the public thus far has largely been comprised of incomplete information and conflicting opinions. Based on their review of the literature, the authors stated it is “impossible to draw any definitive conclusions, in these cases, linking specific diets or specific ingredients to DCM".
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